My Week Ending March 18, 2018


Readings (You can follow my daily readings as they happen here)

  1. I hate that Detroit is always the problem child when people talk about education that needs updating in the states.  I’ve known some great educators from there and they work hard, very hard, with what they have.  It has to be depressing to be working in that system, trying to do the best you can, and then have sensational stories like this come out.  My best highlight from Detroit educators was years ago being at the MACUL conference during March Madness and the University of Michigan was playing Michigan State University.  I think the conference shut down for the game.
  2. One of the frustrating things about being a Linux user is reading stories like this where you’re reminded that there are so many options.  It’s the option of choice upon choice upon choice that makes it fun just to experiment.  I wish that more people would do that rather than just discarding their old computer.  We’d have a more diverse community of computer users and the discussion might turn to how to network your house effectively.
  3. So many people have cut the cord.  All you need is a really fast internet connection which pretty much rules me out for the foreseeable future.
  4. There are lots of examples of coding using Scratch on the internet.  Most of them tend to be something cutesy that serves as a standalone example.  When you want more, it can be a challenge.  Here, you’ll find a 25 hour course.
  5. This was kind of interesting to read but difficult to understand how the implementation would go.  Can you imagine a school system without subjects?  The good thing would be that you wouldn’t target mathematics class for preparation for a test.
  6. It’s difficult to imagine using a computer without the internet.  Sure, us longtimers have had connected computers for years and years but it was the World Wide Web that made the big difference.  It doesn’t even sound right, even if it’s in my head to myself to even say, “World Wide Web”.  Like it’s a distinct thing other than the tie that binds everything together.
  7. Should you check this article before you fly to a Canadian city again?  Let me just say that flying in and out of Windsor is a breeze.  You can overshoot by miles, I suspect but I hope you never have to.  I’ve always wondered about Midway though.  It’s required viewing if you’re just surfing around Google Maps looking for unique looking airports.  Make sure you go to satellite view.  LaGuardia is kind of scary too!
  8. Sadly, the passing of Stephen Hawking happened this week.  Check this link for some pictures.
  9. Corporal punishment in schools?  This reads like a blast from the past – a long ago  past.  But, lest I get too snooty, we did have “the strap” in my elementary school.  Rumours were around about friends who “got it” but nobody actually personally confessed.  I suspect it really was just the fear of it that kept us on the straight and narrow.
  10. This may end up being the biggest Microsoft mistake since Vista.  If I want to use an alternative to Edge, I should be able to.  After all, it’s my computer.   I would have thought that the computer world would have learned from Apple’s desire to have everything Safari.  It’s not that these are bad browsers but cross-platform is important to some people.  And, Chrome, Opera, Firefox, and others are engineered to support that.


Blog Posts on doug … off the record


voicEd Radio

My on demand page can be found here.  The latest edition features blog posts from:


Technology Trouble Shooting

Fingerprints – There are three or four places around here that I use technology and just about everything that I use has a touch screen on it.  I read a report once that said that hackers could get into your iPad by looking at the smudge prints on their screen.  My current vice is AlphaBetty Saga.  The problem is that I have this big blotch on my screen from using it and, at a certain angle, it drives me nuts.  So, I have a micro-fibre cloth everywhere I happen to be.  I don’t imagine there’s a fix but if you have a routine for fingerprint management, I’d love to hear it.

Weekly Challenge –  This is actually a nice challenge to have.  The only time I’ve ever owned an Apple phone was when my employer bought it for me.  I always felt constrained because everything is locked down.  When I had to start buying my own, I went with Android because you can customize darn near everything.  The default launcher is Samsung’s Touch-Wiz which is nice.  Then, I read about the Microsoft launcher, loaded it, and really enjoyed it.  Recently, I read an article about how to make your phone act like the Pixel 2 and it talked about the specific launcher for that.  Unfortunately, you have to side-load it and I’m not really to do that.  So, I loaded the best Google launcher that I could find on the Play Store.  I’ll see how it goes.


Video of the Week – Down by the Henry Moore

Not only is this a great song, but the author throws in so much imagery from around Toronto.  How many places do you recognize?

“I walked down to Kensington Market
Bought me a fish to fry”

My Favourite Photo This Week

Spring is here.  Sort of, I guess.  Driving home from Waterloo as a university student, we used to call things like this “super snow”.  You know that snow in the ditches that lingers long after the temperatures are well above freezing.  Here’s the latest look from the pier at Colchester harbour.  The ice is hanging in there.  A few weeks ago, all that water was ice and snow.  It’s now going away.  Since I’m looking south, the ice is on the west side of the dock.  I would have thought that it would be gone but, as my Science consultant friend would say, “there’s a workshop in there somewhere”.

Screenshot 2018-03-18 at 10.43.59


Thanks for reading.


Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: Follow me on Twitter: I'm bookmarking things at: